July 23, 2013
The Dignity of Rank

A new royal heir recalls to mind this passage from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, clothing insight in beauty as Gibbon constantly did. Discussing Constantine, who established Christianity as the Imperial religion, then had his wife and first-born son executed for plotting against him, Gibbon says this about his remaining heirs.

His destined successors had the misfortune of being born and educated in the Imperial purple. Incessantly surrounded with a train of flatterers, they passed their youth in the enjoyment of luxury and the expectation of a throne; nor would the dignity of their rank permit them to descend from that elevated station from which the various characters of human nature appear to wear a smooth and uniform aspect.
Posted by Chuck Dupree at July 23, 2013 03:03 AM
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